Attorney-general Appeals Sentence Given to Catholic Teacher Who Raped Girl Students at His Desk

By James O'Loan
The Courier-Mail
October 22, 2010

A CONVICTED pedophile who raped Toowoomba primary school students in his care is having his sentence appealed.

Gerard Vincent Byrnes, 61, was sentenced this month to 10 years' jail with parole eligibility after six years.

The sentence from Toowoomba District Court Judge Sarah Bradley immediately sparked an outcry from victims and their families.

Attorney-General Cameron Dick today confirmed he will appeal Byrnes' punishment.

"The grounds of this appeal are that this sentence fails to reflect the gravity of the offences, that the sentence fails to act as a sufficient deterrence, and that the sentencing judge gave too much weight to factors of mitigation," Mr Dick said.

"The court will set the date for the appeal.

"I will not be making any further comment as the matter is now before the courts."

Byrnes committed a stomach churning sequence of sex crimes from January 2007 to November 2008 while he was a child protection officer at a Toowoomba primary school.

He pleaded guilty to 10 rape charges, 33 counts of indecent treatment of a minor, and one count of maintaining a sexual relationship with a student.


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